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Geneva Notes/ Commentary on Matthew 5:21-26

From the Geneva Notes.

Mt 5:21
5:21 {5} Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time,
Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in
danger of the judgment:

(5) The true meaning of the first commandment.

Mt 5:22
5:22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his
brother without a cause shall be {i} in danger {k} of the
judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca,
shall be in danger of the {l} council: but whosoever shall
say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of {m} hell {n} fire.

(i) He speaks of the judgment of God, and of the difference
of sins, and therefore applies his words to the form of
civil judgments which were then used.
(k) Of that judgment which was ruled by three men, who had
the hearing and deciding of money matters, and such
other small causes.

(l) By that judgment which stood of 23 judges, who had
the hearing and deciding of weighty affairs, as the
matter of a whole tribe or of a high priest, or of a
false prophet.

(m) Whereas we read here "hell", it is in the text itself
"Gehenna", which is one Hebrew word made out of two,
and is as if to say "as the Valley of Hinnom", which
the Hebrews called Topheth: it was a place where the
Israelites cruelly sacrificed their children to false
gods, whereupon it was taken for a place appointed to
torment the reprobates in Jer 7:31.

(n) The Jews used four kinds of punishments, before their
government was taken away by Herod: hanging, beheading,
stoning, and burning. It is burning that Christ meant,
because burning was the greatest punishment; therefore
by making mention of a judgment, a council, and
a fire, he shows that some sins are worse than others
are, but yet they are all such that we must give
account for them, and will be punished for them.

Mt 5:23
5:23 {6} Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the {o} altar, and
there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;

(6) The covetous Pharisees taught that God was appeased by the
sacrifices appointed in the law, which they themselves
devoured. But Christ on the contrary side denies that God
accepts any man's offering, unless he makes satisfaction to
his brother whom he has offended: and says moreover, that
these stubborn and stiff-necked despisers of their
brethren will never escape the wrath and curse of God
before they have made full satisfaction to their brethren.

(o) He applies all this speech to the state of his time,
when there was then an altar standing in Jerusalem, and
therefore they are very foolish that gather from this
that we must build altars and use sacrifices: but they
are bigger fools who consider this to be purgatory,
which is spoken of as peace making and atonement one
with another.

Mt 5:25
5:25 {p} Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in
the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver
thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the
officer, and thou be cast into prison.

(p) Remove all cause for enmity.

Mt 5:26
5:26 Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out
thence, till thou hast {q} paid the uttermost farthing.

(q) You will be dealt with in this manner, to the utmost
extremity.

See Also:

Sermons and Bible Commentaries for Seventh Sunday After Sleebo Feast

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